Frequently Asked Questions about Inland Boating

As well as boating out on vast expanses of Moreton Bay and further afield, there are also a significant number of lakes, canals, dams and waterways where people experience the joys of boating. There are however some important considerations for recreational boaties to take when it comes to freshwater boating, and we answer some these and some of the requirements of inland boating in our latest post.

What laws do I need to obey with freshwater boating in Queensland?

Licensing is required for all vessels which have are powered by a boat motor with more than 4.5kw (or over 6 horsepower.) Recreational licenses can be obtained by completing a competency based BoatSafe course and applying directly to Transport and Main Roads customer service centre. For full details including taking the course and including a medical fitness disclosure statement, click here.

Does my boat need to be registered?

Yes. If your boat is fitted with a motor over 3Kw or 4 horsepower, it needs to be registered in Queensland. All registered boats are required to display to registered symbols on the boat which are provided with registration.

Are there different speed limits on inland waterways?

There is a 40 knot maximum speed limit on inland waterways. For safety reasons slow down to 6 knots when approaching 30 metres within anchored or moored vessels, pontoons, boat ramps and jetties.

What precautions do I need to take when freshwater boating?

When boating in dams and lakes, boaters need to pay attention to water levels and if levels have dropped significantly using boat ramps is not advisable. There is also an increased risk of submerged debris on bodies of fresh water, and this is why a reduced speed limit is enforced. Additionally reconsider taking the boat out on swollen waterways and after heavy rain as there is an increased risk damage to your vessel from debris washed into the body of water.

What else should I know about freshwater boating?

Unlike saltwater, freshwater is far less buoyant meaning wearing lifejackets can increasingly help to save your life and keep you afloat if you are forced overboard. Water temperatures can vary considerably and are often colder than ocean temperatures throughout the year. Take precautions and use distress signals if appropriate.

Finally depending on where you are going boating, speak to other fisherman, boaties and locals in the area who can provide information on possible hazards, water depth and other advice about boating in the region. When it comes to enjoyable inland boating, safety come first and planning is essential. This doesn’t mean inland boating is not worth the effort. In fact navigating waterways against the backdrop of the surrounding natural landscape is one of the most unique ways to see the Queensland environment from a different perspective!

Stay tuned to our blog for more boating advice and information from the Holt Marine crew, Brisbane’s leading team of boating professionals. Phone (07) 3353 1928



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